Letter to the Editor May 3, 2017

Golden Opportunity
Maple Lake has an excellent opportunity to help its local businesses to prosper and that is by not selling the city lot at the corner of Division and Birch and promoting it as a Town Square to hold events that would bring people to support the businesses. A Town Square would be a place to hold many events throughout the year. The Farmers market is a small example of what can be done to draw people to Maple Lake. The members of the Maple Lake Development committee have targeted many events that could be held there and bring people to our town every week to support the local businesses. Comments from business owners in the past have been “Maple Lake has not done anything to help my business.” That being said, this is something that could be done to help in a big way and realize the benefits very quickly. There are many ways to make a Town Square a reality without burdening the taxpayers and that is a subject for another time.
Speaking with business leaders from other cities our size say they would give anything to have a location and setting like ours to promote business and be visible from a major highway, what we have is the perfect setting. These folks have also said that the few dollars generated from tax on one small business is nothing compared by the longer term gain helping many businesses.
The Maple Lake Development Group has also done a lot of research as to what things could be done to improve the health of a city and it was loud and clear that a Town Square is on the top of the list.
The city leaders of Maple Lake must be business minded if they expect our city to grow and prosper, the future depends on it. Ask this question, do we want our school to survive or do we want it to consolidate with another community? These decisions have a major impact on issues like this.
If the property gets sold for a building it would be a tragic mistake that would tighten the handcuffs on our downtown businesses along with the rest of the business!
Please help our city by supporting growth and prosperity. There have been efforts to have people step forward with other ideas to help Maple Lake businesses prosper and to my knowledge no plans have been presented. My comments are based on having many years of experience working with people promoting business. I have had some great mentors that are well recognized. In the early years of my career I didn’t fully realize the importance of promotion and image and now I realize how critical it is. Pace Industries / Product Technologies is an example of good business promotion and as many of you may know, I have had personal involvement with that organization.
The residents of Maple Lake are wonderful people and suggestions for improvement are always appreciated.
John Rivers
Maple Lake